Decries marginalisation of youths by party
A forum of young stakeholders in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), which include young men and women from across the states, has called for caution in regards to the issue of tenure elongation for the party executives, especially the National Working Committee (NWC).
The forum warned against any form of illegality and breach of the party’s constitution.
Addressing newsmen after a closed door meeting Wednesday night in Abuja, spokesperson of the forum Hon. Martyrs Obekpa said the power for tenure elongation does not rest with the NEC according to APC’s constitution but the convention.
Obekpa added that though, there were divergent views to the issues during the forum’s meeting but consultation was still on among all the stakeholders.
“On the issue of tenure elongation, there are divergent views. There are those for and against. We are still meeting and the general thing that can be taken from this tenure elongation is that the youths stand with what our constitution says. We do not want illegality in this party. We want to stand by all what we have worked and voted for in this constitution. Sneaking in any illegality will not be acceptable to the youths.
“Our consultation is continuing because it is not just a small fragment of the youths of this party that have met. Our consultation is wide and is across the nation and we have agreed to call a congress of the youths to state our position because this party must survive since we brought it into power by our votes.
“By our party constitution, the power for tenure elongation does not rest with the NEC. The power rests in the convention and the party belongs to everybody.”
The forum also decried a situation where young men and women that were supposed to be in advisory committees at all levels are being removed.
According to him, the forum’s consultation across the country shows that young people in the party are not being carried along.
Obekpa said: “We have met and reviewed two issues. We all know today that the party is trying to amend it’s constitution and then there is the decision of NEC to extend the tenure of the NWC. Today, the youths of this party, that this party rode on to attain victory have taken a deep look into our party’s constitutional amendment.
“We agreed to the decision to amend the constitution but we are not at peace with certain things. Youths all over the world played a vital role in governance and party politics. Where some youths suppose to be in advisory committee of the party are been removed we take exception to it. Our consultation all over across this nation is not too good as regard this issue.”
While expressing support for President Muhammadu Buhari, said the forum “look forward to supporting him (President Buhari) beyond 2019.”
Earlier in his opening remarks, one of the conveners and a Board of Trustee (BOT) member Barr. Ismail Ahmed, said the youths had not been fully integrated in the ruling party despite role played in its formation and the success achieved in the 2015 general elections.
Ahmed said members were not happy because of the failure to convene stakeholders’ meetings where critical issues would have been addressed.
While noting that the issue of tenure elongation remained a dividing matter in the ruling party, the young BOT member appealed to the APC leadership to distribute the copies of the areas due for amendment at the forthcoming non-elective convention to enable members study what they would ratify.